Friday, November 7, 2014

Pedometer Wars: 11/7/14 - 2205.6 to 2215.9 Miles

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Virtual Hike
Animated Street View

Wow! You can see a long way on this road. Pick a hill or a line of trees in the distance and  make that an intermediate goal. Keep doing it until you finish the day. 

Eventually, you will find walking to the horizon is enjoyable in a freeing sort of way.

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Pedometer Wars


I dislike war analogies for two reasons. First, in a way it trivializes the efforts of those who have been in battle. Second, nothing on this hike will be close to the effort of battle. However, to complete this hike the walker will need to delve into ares of physical fatigue and willpower they may never have felt. I am introducing the warrior concept to my training as I no longer feel pain anywhere and fatigue is harmless as long as there isn't too much of it. Therefore, I've chosen Pedometer Competitions as my battleground.

Choose your Weapons

I use a Fitbit Zip Pedometer.  It is the simplest and least expensive Pedometer in the Fitbit line. From what I've read, it also seems to be the most accurate. 

The pedometer is accurate if clipped most anywhere. Sometimes the pedometer can fall out of the holder, so I clip it so the pedometer is inside a pocket.

When taking the pedometer to war, change the battery once a month.  Otherwise, it may last up to three months with big variations.

I recently bought a used treadmill so it's quicker to get steps during breaks at home. 

Your other weapons are everything you wear when walking.

Choose your Battle

Fitbit has community groups with monthly competitions. There are small and large groups. 

When I was in basic training at the Air Force Academy, one of the upperclassmen used to shout, "Second place in a gunfight ain't worth shit!" Taking this philosophy to the pedometer war means I choose a group where I can win. I also choose a group where winning will be challenging. This month, I've chosen to win in the Colorado Springs Fitbit Group

I'm solidly in first place today, but I know the guy in third place can catch me in an afternoon. His longest days are longer than mine, so my lead isn't as solid as it looks.

Strategies and tactics

Strategic planning is long term. For instance, "I will average 22,000 steps a day (11 miles) is a strategy." Anything that is preplanned is a strategy.

Tactics change from day to day. For instance, when I saw a competitor getting slightly ahead of me at the end of each day, I decided to put in three or four long days to extend my lead. Perhaps they will give up the shadowing and drop back further.

Lessons of War

The major battles in life are internal. Externalizing them in mock wars teaches us how to motivate our internal "soldier." 


I think Pedometer Wars can motivate those who enjoy competition. I can also see where training for war and "fighting" these wars will help me increase my daily mileage. I can see many ways to use war metaphors for training. I may touch on these in this blog, or maybe I'll write a book.

                        Today's walk

In his book, "Brain Training for Runners" Matt Fitzgerald states that experienced runners can operate closer to the margins of fatigue and injury disasters than less experienced runners. Runners need to train themselves mentally as well as physically.

A few months ago, I would have taken a rest day today. I walked 14 miles yesterday and the previous three days were also long. My muscles were tired this morning, but not sore. So, I decided to walk.

All the fatigue disappeared after a few minutes of walking and the time passed quickly. I'm continuing to explore the cusps of fatigue while being careful to avoid injuries

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